{Decisions, Decisions} – counter top choices


We are in the homestretch of finishing up our basement bar/kitchen.  Yeah!!

I have to pick a counter top for the bar downstairs and this is hard work!  Whatever i choose will set the tone for the bar and it needs to be right.  This is life changing people!  K – maybe i exaggerate a teensy bit, but it really will define how the bar feels!  The bar is big – 11ft long, so it will def be out there and be seen!  Plus the fact that whatever counter i choose will be lots of moola (im gonna throw up now) – it has to be the right the 1st time, there is no changing this down the road.

(we decided to raise up the black cabinets to go all the way to the ceiling, another project to add to the list!)

And just FYI – the stone that we are putting in is only going to be for the top of the bar.  The back of the bar and the kitchen has Ikea oak butcher block counter tops that i will be staining dark to match the floors.

When we 1st walked into the showroom, there was a bar height counter that has a nice big reveal edge and it was perfect.  The granite was different, it wasn’t ordinary – i really liked it and thought i would pick out some statement granite too.

Then, i went into the sample room and there was this shiny piece of white quartz with chunks of glittery mirror in it – i was sold!  This pic does not do it justice – its super pretty in person.  But the availability was an issue and we wouldn’t know for a couple weeks if it will even be available to us (although i found out today that they just got it in and have a slab on hold for us).

So – just to have a back up plan, i went and looked at granite slabs.  They are pretty for sure, but nothing really stood out as “the one”, plus my choices are narrowed down because i need one in gray tones, not brown/beige’s.  And i worry that the granite is so busy that it just wont be right for the feeling that i want the bar to have?  Plus granite is EVERYWHERE!  Everyone has it.  For the amount of money that this is going to cost – is it really unique enough?

But, i would LOVE for this granite below to be in my kitchen ;)

But then, we found it.  THE ONE!  Its something that both Santi and i really like and its special – ahhhh ;)  Its a slab of travertine in Ocean Blue.  We were of course warned about the downsides of having travertine as a counter top – but its not something that will be used all the time so we will take the risk.  Plus the cost….uggghhh the cost!  It costs more to fabricate the stone because its more delicate unlike the granite or the quartz.

Look how pretty it is!  In real life its more in the  light gray tones (the biggest slab, not the small one which is really pretty but its too small and its really yellow).  It does have a lot of movement, but with the long vein cuts and in all the same color tones, its not too busy.    I love how it looks like it was just sliced from the side of a mountain!  Its perfect.  Its special!

We are putting down the deposit tomorrow – templating next week and then in a couple weeks we will have a unique counter top that i guarantee no one else we know will have!  I am super excited and am glad i can move on to thinking about other things that are less life changing – ha!

17 replies
  1. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    This isn’t related to your post, but I was wondering if you were going to answer the rest of the questions from your “ask me anything” post. I am very anxious for the rest of your responses! Thanks.

  2. Elissa
    Elissa says:

    Without really reading the whole post I picked the last picture, pretty grey toned slab. I LOVE IT! Can’t wait to see what the basement looks like. Hope you’re doing good!

  3. Kim
    Kim says:

    Hi, I was just reading your posts about the basement contertops. I just finished a kitchen renovation. I wasnt sure if I wanted to comment or not, but I kept thinking…if someone had mentioned to me what I’m about to mention to you, I would had made different choices. So, here is my comment in hopes that you already have this covered.

    For starters, I really wanted marble. Due to its porosity/staining in kitchens, I went with the calcacutta tropicana quartzite. It looks just like marble and has beautiful grey vining throughout. My island was going to be 10 ft long. When they delivered my beatiful slab, it was cut into 2 pieces! I was 2″ shy of having enough quartzite to have a seamless island. Here’s my point. I could had walked through the warehouse and measured the slabs until I found the right size. I just didnt’ know that was an option.
    Originally, I didn’t think the seam would bother me. But once installed, I realized that the light colors weren’t “busy” enough to hide seam and it stuck out like an elephant in the room.

    In hindsight, if I had known this up front, I would had been getting exact measurements and choosing a slab long enough to not need a seam. Since then, I have done my homework and found out that this is not somehting inpossible to ask for.

    Anyways, you probably have alot more experience at this than I, but had someone told me this up front I definately would had made different choices. I guess this is where it helps to have a general contractor. Love your post!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      yes, unfortunately we will have a seam too, and it will be a lot more noticeable than regular granite because of all the different colors of veining. But, the limestone was the only stone that we both agreed on.

      Also because of the softness of the stone, they dont make slabs larger than about 9ft, so we didnt have the option of going with a bigger slab.

      We actually met with the countertop guy yesterday and saw the seam on the computer – i hope we dont regret it when we get it installed!!

  4. Doris
    Doris says:

    You definately picked the right one! I agree with you on your reasons not to go with granite. Everyone has it and it is very busy! I am surprised you didn’t think about concrete! It’s picking up momentum!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      concrete was actually kind of our plan all along, but we just wanted to be done! But we love the concrete look and cant wait to use it somewhere else :)

  5. Patti
    Patti says:

    Beautiful choice! Love every bit of your basement. Thanks for taking us along on the journey.

    Please oh Please do a step by step w/ pictures on staining of the Ikea butcher block counters.

    I have these same ones already installed in my kitchen and I am so scared to do it. I need guidance LOL. Thank you so much.

  6. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    We just put limestone (after NOT a lot of research) on our bathroom vanity. AFTER sealing, water spots show right away after you dry it, but they fade and disappear once you let the countertop dry. Soap is a different story. There was soap left on the countertop for a couple of hours and now there is a forever stain. The worst part was that soap got underneath the soap dispenser, so now we have a very lovely ring that will never go away. I guess that’s what you get with 3 little kids and a mom that didn’t do her research! Just thought I would share… :) Your basement looks so stinkin awesome!

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      oh no! We were told not to leave anything on the counter as it will stain fast even if the top is sealed. But – we were also told by the stone guy that there is a solution to stains – there is some type of sanding block, i think he said pumice (i should of bought one that he was showing me now that i think about it!!) – anyways, he said if we do get a stain then it can just be rubbed out because the stone is really porous and you wont even be able to tell. Have you tried/heard of that?


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